Click here to return to the homepage.
By Avelon B McNae
My work with my clients in Marriage Counseling, Relationship Counseling and Relationship Coaching serves couples of all ages from those in their 20’s to those in their 60’s. I also provide coaching by phone and video-conferencing worldwide.
Relationships with others in our lives are important to us as human beings because our intimate and social supports are vital to our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being. Relationships with parents, spouses, siblings, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, professors, roommates, and classmates can bring joy and take on added significance in our lives.
We learn that it is often in or though intimate relationships that our romantic, companionship, and intimacy needs are met. It is no wonder that we find ourselves preoccupied or consumed with pursuing, maintaining, ending, and recovering from the loss of such relationships. While each of these types of relationships can be difficult and challenging, it is commonly when relationships end or “don’t work out” that we struggle the most. It can be the cause of anxiety and depression. Relationship counseling, couples counseling, marriage counseling is what makes up most of my private practice in Durango,Colorado and it has for the past two decades.
Whatever your age and experience, a relationship can bring you new and demanding challenges, and opportunities for personal growth. Being able to handle conflict and deal with differences is important in maintaining healthy relationships. Everyone who is in a relationship or cares about their relationships may need assistance at some time to help them deal with problems or difficulties in them, learn how to improve them, cope with a relationship that has broken down, and help to change an abusive relationship.
All couples experience problems in one form or another; it’s part of sharing your life with another human being. The difference between healthy relationships that work, and those that don’t, is how well couples deal with the challenges and problems they face in their life together. This is largely about having good communication and problem-solving skills.
There are reliable tools that can be used to create a healthy relationship, many of which have not been taught in our culture. If you want to have a really healthy relationship, follow these simple guidelines.
Do not expect anyone other than you to be responsible for your personal happiness. Too often, relationships fail because someone is unhappy and blames their partner for making them feel that way. Make yourself happy first, and then share your happiness.
Forgive one another and forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process of ending your anger or resentment towards another individual. It has the power to transcend all offenses, great and small. Learning to forgive another takes patience, honesty, and respect. When sincerely given freely in a relationship, forgiveness may heal relationships that are suffering. Forgiveness is an act of humility, not one of prideful feelings.
Do not do anything for your partner if it comes with an expectation of reciprocation. The things you do for your partner must always be done because you chose to do them and you want to do them. Do not hold your “good deeds” over their head at a later time. Keeping score in a relationship will never work because we are less likely to notice and value all the contributions of our partner as much as our own.
Be responsible for yourself and to others. Responsible means that you have the ability to respond. It does not mean you are to blame. If you’ve been rude to your partner, own up to it, and try to think of ways how you might do it differently and in a positive manner next time. If you are unhappy in your relationship, make an effort to learn how you might create a better relationship for yourself rather than try to change your partner.
Approach your relationship as a learning experience.. Each one has important information for the other to learn. When a relationship is not working, there is usually a familiar way that we feel while in it. We are attracted to the partner with whom we can learn the most, and sometimes the lesson is to let go of a relationship that no longer serves us. A truly healthy relationship will consist of both partners who are interested in learning and expanding a relationship so that it continues to improve.
Appreciate yourself and your partner. In the midst of an argument, it can be difficult to find something to appreciate. Start by generating appreciation in moments of non-stress, and that way when you need to be able to do it during a stressful conversation, it will be easier. One definition of appreciation is to be sensitively aware so you don’t have to be sugar-coating anything; so tell your beloved that you love him or her and that you don’t want to argue but to talk and make it better.
Research has shown that people in supportive, loving relationships are more likely to feel healthier, happier, less stressed, satisfied with their lives and less likely to have mental or physical health problems, or do things that are bad for their health. People in supportive, loving relationships help each other practically as well as emotionally. Supportive partners share the good times and help each other through the tough ones. Talking and listening are probably the most important skills in a relationship. There will always be tensions and disagreements, but if you can communicate well, you can overcome almost any problem.
If you are having difficulty in your relationship no matter what the cause, effective communication and problem-solving skills will help you resolve your problems more easily. If you are having difficulty in this area, choosing to work with a therapistu who can help you learn these vital skills for your relationship can mean the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship with a probable breakup.
If you are struggling in your marriage or relationship, call me 970-422-6102 today to get your complimentary 15 minute phone consultation!